You’re stopped at a red light, and there is a lot of traffic anyway – so you figure ‘What’s the big deal?’ You justify in your mind that it’s ok to whip out your cell phone and check your email or Facebook or your missed calls…because technically, you’re not driving at that moment. Suddenly, you’re startled by someone honking at you, and that’s when you realize how engrossed you’d become in your cell phone activities that you failed to notice the green light.
But it’s not a big deal.
Driving While Texting Statistics
While sending or receiving a text message while driving may not seem like such a big deal; it actually is. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics below:
- In 2011, at least 23 percent (or 1.3 million) of car crashes involved cell phones .
- It takes a minimum of 5 seconds for your attention to be drawn away from the road when texting while driving. If you’re driving at 55mph, this is equivalent of traveling the length of a football field without looking at the road!
- Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash your car.
- 77 percent of young adults interviewed claim that they can safely text while driving.
- Teens who text while driving spend an average of 10 percent of their driving time, NOT driving in their lane.
- 1 in 5 drivers admit to surfing the Internet while driving.
- 39 states (including Washington D.C.) prohibit the use of texting while driving.
- 10 states prohibit the use of a hand-held cell phone at all.
The Solution to Texting while Driving
If you don’t think that sending or receiving a text message doesn’t affect you, then think again. In the split second that you’re glancing at your cell phone screen, you could be missing a moment where an animal suddenly runs into the street or a child wanders into the road or the car that you thought was so far ahead of you suddenly stops short.
The best offense is a good defense, and nowhere is this more true than when you are on the road. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right. We need to be more vigilant and that means keeping our eyes on the road at all times, prepared for anything.